Therapeutic Ways to Connect With a Parent as Alzheimer's Progresses
December 24, 2020
How do you stay connected to a parent when Alzheimer's reaches the middle stages? While it's important to spend as much time as possible, the symptoms in the middle stage can make it seem impossible.
At this point, your mom or dad may forget who you are. Agitation can be an issue and lead to angry outbursts and physical abuse. Don't give up. Try these therapeutic ways of staying close.
Music often soothes people with Alzheimer's. If your mom or dad is having a bad day, start singing songs. Aim for songs you know your parent loved as a kid or teen. You don't have to be a great singer, you just need to capture your parent's attention.
The goal is to get your parent to sing along. It will ease the frustration and fear that often lead to the outburst. You can put on music in the background and have a sing-a-long or put on a karaoke video on a TV or computer and sing to that.
Dancing, no matter how good or bad you are at it, will catch your mom or dad's attention. Dance with a broom or mop and see how long it takes before your parent starts swaying to the music.
Not only will the dance be fun, but it's also a good way to get your parent to exercise. Aim for music that gets you moving. Even if your mom or dad only dances while sitting in a chair, it's still going to ease angst and help your parent unwind.
Your mom or dad may not be able to play more challenging games, but simple games help entertain and soothe. Go outside with a super soaker or Nerf gun and try to shoot cans that are stacked up on a table. Blow up a balloon and play balloon volleyball.
Simple games like ring toss, wastebasket basketball, and finding buried treasure in a bowl of rice are all fun to someone in the middle stages. You may find simple games like match, charades, and Pictionary also works well. Make sure you're happy and laughing throughout the games, even if you feel frustrated.
Don't stop doing the things you enjoy to always be there for your mom or dad. You need to take breaks for self-care. To do that without leaving your parent alone, arrange to have caregivers stop by. While you're out socializing, running errands, or having some downtime, caregivers can provide the care your mom or dad needs.
If you or your loved one is looking for a Caregiver in San Josee, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.
Santa Clara County: (408) 979-9990
San Mateo County: (650) 353-9777
Santa Cruz County: (831) 480-3990